A Fluffy Arrival


My puppy is here!
Precious arrived on Friday with my friend Kat in tow. Or maybe it was the other way around. But anyway! Kat runs Long Road Kennel in Decatur, Illinois. She’s never been to West Virginia before. She’s never even taken a trip by herself before. She has five children. She’s mostly never alone. She made her first trip, by herself, eight hours to boldly tackle driving in the “high mountains” of West Virginia. She met my hired men, Robbie and Rodney, who told her these were just foothills, not mountains. She met my friend Jerry, who told her these were just foothills, not mountains. She met my cousin Mark and his wife Sheryl, who told her these were just foothills, not mountains. Of course, I had already told her these were just foothills, not mountains. But she’s from the corn- and soy-fields of Illinois and she said, “These are mountains!” I fed her venison and goat meat, and she shot my .22 and rode the four-wheeler. She had a weekend vacation in the holler! And stories to tell when she got back home to the flatlands.
And I have a puppy! I’ve had a lot of questions about the new puppy, so I’d better do some s’plainin’.

After I moved here, I started wishing for a house dog, a companion in the house. I didn’t do anything about it for awhile, until I heard about a Great Pyr that was available through a local rescue. I love my Pyrs. Now, I know better than anybody what it’s like to have a Great Pyr. They’re large dogs and best suited to the field. They need a job and lots of room to run. But, this rescue Pyr had been a house Pyr, with a small backyard, and I was convinced she would be suited to staying in the house and going on long walks with me every day. Since she was already a house dog. Knowing Pyrs like I do, I should have known better. I adored Gwennie and she loved to go places with me, but she didn’t like it when I went anywhere and had to leave her in the car. She ate the seatbelts out of my Explorer one time. When I left her in the house to go to the store, she ate all the blinds down off the windows. When I left her in the fenced fields or the barn while I went out, she ran a gate right off the hinges and broke down the fences. She did adore going on long walks with me, however!

Gwennie and Casper, puddlin’ on a walk on the ridge.
But anytime I had to go anywhere that she couldn’t go with me, safely containing her was a problem. I spent a lot of money and hired man hours trying to work out the fencing to where she wouldn’t get out of it, but she was not raised a field dog and had zero interest in becoming one, nor was she happy being left in the house. I would come home and find she’d broken out of wherever I’d put her and was running up and down the road chasing cars. This was a dangerous situation for her, and for my neighbors. Worse, she would break out and then break in where I had Coco and Chloe and fight with them. I thought maybe that would calm down–after all, Coco and Chloe fought, too, when they first met, but after a few months, they settled who was boss and became best friends. Over a year later, Gwennie and Coco were still fighting to the point of tearing each other up and leaving one another bloody. And believe me, I was not letting them get together on purpose. If they saw each other outside, they’d go nuts and break down fences to get to each other and engage battle.

Eventually I decided that for everyone’s best interests, especially Gwennie’s, she needed to be re-homed. Gwennie is a good dog–not blaming her at all. This was not the right situation for Gwennie. She was re-homed through the rescue, and I believe she is with a family in New York now. I’ve never given up a dog before, so this was not easy, but for the sake of all the dogs, it was the right thing to do.

Still, I had my dream of a companion dog in the house, but again didn’t do anything about it for awhile. I didn’t want to make another mistake, for the sake of my heart and for the sake of the dog. Now I have a little Chinese Crested pup and I’ve had such questions and comments about her! Why did I choose this exotic “designer” dog? Did I get her just so I could dress her up and write about her on the blog? Was I not thinking of my demographics? You guys? I don’t make personal decisions based on my blog! She’s not livestock, she’s a pet. A personal pet. Will I dress her up and write about her? Of course! But that has nothing to do with why I got her. I got her because I want a house dog. And I’m trying to get one that is better suited to being a house dog. I didn’t actually go out looking for a Chinese Crested, though. I didn’t go out looking for a dog at all.

Last summer when I went to Weston’s Army boot camp graduation in Oklahoma, I made a slight detour to visit my friend Kat in Illinois. I’ve known Kat for 21 years. I met her (virtually, online) right after Weston was born, on a romance writer message board. Ross was a toddler, Weston was a newborn, and Morgan hadn’t even been dreamed up yet! Lo, all these years later, with all our kids mostly grown, and emailing each other every day all this time, Kat and I had never met in person. It was time, and her home in Decatur was only a few hours out of the way on my trip, so Morgan and I stayed with her for a few days. Kat’s been a professional dog trainer for years, and I knew she bred Chinese Crested dogs, but I hadn’t thought much about them. The first Chinese Crested she got was a hairless and I didn’t pay that much attention to her dogs after seeing a picture of that one. Hairless Chinese Cresteds often win the ugliest dog of the year award. Because they’re so ugly. Well, to some of us! Chinese Cresteds come in three varieties–hairless (hair only on their heads, feet, and tails), hairy hairless (they have more hair than the hairless), and powderpuffs. Powderpuffs are fluffy little balls. They are ADORABLE. I didn’t realize how adorable until I stayed with Kat and her bunch o’ Chinese Cresteds. I fell in love with her dogs, took one to bed with me while I was there, and threatened to kidnap one. They’re small dogs (toy-size) with sweet temperaments–not real “yappy” types. They don’t bark as much as other toy breeds.
And so, I went to Illinois last summer and saw cornfields and soybeans and flatlands and Chinese Cresteds (and Kat took me to a Rural King! we don’t have Rural King here!) and when I left, I said, “Next powderpuff baby girl born, I want her!” And that, my dear friends and readers, is how I came to have a Chinese Crested puppy. In October, Kat’s Daisy had a litter of two–and one of them was a powderpuff girl. And now she’s mine!

And as for the battle over the dog bed….
Buttercup won that one.


  1. falnfenix says:

    to those who may give you crap:

    1 – Chinese Cresteds are NOT designer dogs. they’re an established companion breed. yes, they’re a relatively new breed, but they *are* established, there is a breed standard, etc. designer dogs would be “cockapoos” and “doodles” and all the other intentional mutts in the world. these are the dogs one should avoid buying from a breeder.

    2 – because i know someone’s going to be a twit about this, rescue isn’t always the answer. i like rescues as much as the next person, but when someone’s looking for something specific, a well-researched breeder is the way to go.

    enjoy your puppy. i’ve just gotten out of the crazy puppy stage with my Doberman…i don’t envy you. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. The High Altitude Tea Duchess says:

    She is quite adorable and I’m that soon, if it has not already happened, she will be snuggling with you in bed!

  3. Lois says:

    falnfenix said what I was going to. I’ve seen Chinese Crested before but don’t know anything about them except that they are definitely a recognized breed. And, I don’t envy you the “puppy” stage either! First 6 months of baby teeth (I’m still bearing scars!), then the chewing stage that lasts at least as long. Fun, fun, fun! I know you’ll enjoy your little lap dog!

  4. shirley T says:

    I love that puppy. I want one, are they expensive? I don’t blame you for re-homing Gwennie in the current situation. Kudos for being your own woman and acting on what you really want in life. (ON SECOND THOUGHT you have always done that). Good luck with precious.

  5. patricialynn says:

    OMG she’s adorable. Just a little ball of fluff! Sounds like a perfect lap dog – I bet she just loves to cuddle.

    New puppies are fun – and frustrating! We just got a new one a couple weeks ago. Her mother’s owners said mom was a boxer/pit bull mix and that dad was a pit bull, but it’s pretty clear they were wrong – she has some type of hound in her. Her body is too light and slender to be 3/4 pit bull.

    Did you know puppies can get growing pains? I did not know puppies could get growing pains until we got Myra. Poor thing.

  6. BobsWifey says:

    I work in Decatur and love my weekly visits to that Rural King. Wish I had known you were in town, I could have gotten my book signed ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. darrandle says:

    Congrats on the new arrival. She is a cutie. I admire you for doing the right thing for Gwennie. I have a rescue dog that also had separation anxiety. She ate a hole in the bathroom door, tore up carpet, tore down a cedar fence, I could go on. It is a sad psychological problem for dogs and owners. My girl finally improved after medication and a trainer with experience in this kind of problem. She has a companion dog now and is off medication. Wishing you all the best. I look forward to the upcoming photos.

  8. SarahGrace says:

    Congrats on that adorable baby! Precious looks to be a perfect name for such a fluffball.

  9. California Paintbrush says:

    Precious IS precious!! But take her for walk in the country….she looks more like she should be on a satin pillow eating bon bons! ๐Ÿ˜† When you said Gwennie was relocated in NY, I immediately envisioned her in an apartment!! I do have those steryotypes, But I am sure she is on a farm with no other doggie competition and rules the roost with lots of area to keep her busy. Don’t worry about anything we bloggers say. We love you but sometimes we can be grouchy and fingers take over the keys. You are going to have a GREAT Christmas!!

  10. beforethedawn says:

    How cute! I have heard of that breed, but am not familiar with them. But I read your blog, so I Will be! hehe

    Sad that Gwennie didn’t work out. (I love Pyrs too!) But hopefully her new home in NY will be a better fit. I had to give back a rescue once. It was SO HARD, but it had to be done. He was a greyhound, not too old and was able to find a new home. He was super loving to me, but didn’t really like men. He got jealous of kids and would snap at them, which was really bad because I ran a home daycare at the time.

  11. MousE says:

    Oh what a great little ball of fur!

    Suzanne, what do you mean you don’t decide things to please us??

    Seriously though, it sounds like Gwennie found the right place to be, and I love that you finally got to meet your pen pal and fell in love with her dogs.

    Kudos for going to a breeder or a rescue! And congrats on your new Precious. I guess you need another bed!

  12. roosterrun says:

    We now have a Rural King in Parkersburg, WV.

  13. yvonnem says:

    I knew Buttercup would not give up that bed…LOL! Precious is…precious!! Absolutely adorable. :woof:

    I’m going to google Rural King – never heard of it.

  14. Joell says:


    OH MY!!! She is the sweetest thing!!
    Merry Christmas–Puppy Mama!

  15. Dana says:

    I adore your new puppy!!!!! My puppy, Maggie Mae, just turned 2 years old on Christmas Day. Maggie is a mini-long haired Dachshund. She is an inside dog and she is spoiled terribly. And that makes her perfect!!!
    I saw where someone told you that we have a Rural King in Parkersburg. I haven’t been there yet…and just realized one had opened here. It is a few miles south of the Grand Central Mall in the same Plaza with Crafts 2000, Grand Ranchero, and Gabriels. I don’t know if that helps….but wanted to let you know.
    Again, love your puppy, Precious.

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